For Parents Instilling Confidence

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FlipsLeos

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Jul 26, 2008
111
My dd is not an aggressive child. She is never going to be the kid who goes out there and accomplishes a new skill just because she wants to, kwim? And that's okay with me.

However, I'd really like to help her find the confidence to trust in herself a little more. She's doing L3 and will be 8 next week, had been in gym only a year now.

The problem is in learning new skills. Once she gets it, she has it and there's no going back, and she generally does it very well. It's the getting it part that she struggles at. If her coach is there to spot her, she will put forth the effort. If left to practice on her own, she just kinda throws herself at it half-heartedly.

Case in point - pullover. With her coach there, she does them with a mere finger on her bottom. On her own? FORGET IT. Her efforts look like someone who's never even been shown how to do them! I did talk to her coach about it (I love her coach) because I was concerned about her not being able to do them. Her coach is certain it's a confidence issue, pointing out that she doesn't struggle with any of her other bar skills and the coach feels she is more than strong enough to do it - she just needs to find the confidence in herself to push through it.

So... from all you veteran parents who have gone through anything remotely similar - any suggestions?? Any thoughts on how to help her trust in herself a little more?

We don't have a bar or anything at home, but her coach suggested bringing her a little early each practice so she could work on it (said she would work with her, or she would show me what to do with her in regards to the pullover issue). Went through the same thing with her beam handstands but she managed to get through it and does fine with them now!

Thanks in advance! :D
 
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TeamDad

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The problem is in learning new skills. Once she gets it, she has it and there's no going back, and she generally does it very well. It's the getting it part that she struggles at...

<snip>

....So... from all you veteran parents who have gone through anything remotely similar - any suggestions?? Any thoughts on how to help her trust in herself a little more?
My DD is the same way. It takes her longer to get a skill sometimes, but once she gets it, she owns it. She seems to have a real confidence problem with any skill that goes backwards like a BWO. Just be patient and she will build her confidence in her own time. The skills will come as will her confidence in doing them without a spot. It's not always the girls who get the skills first who win all the trophies. In time, she probably won't even remember that some skill or another gave her a problem.
 
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GymmomOR1127

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My DD is the same way. It takes her longer to get a skill sometimes, but once she gets it, she owns it. She seems to have a real confidence problem with any skill that goes backwards like a BWO. Just be patient and she will build her confidence in her own time. The skills will come as will her confidence in doing them without a spot. It's not always the girls who get the skills first who win all the trophies. In time, she probably won't even remember that some skill or another gave her a problem.
So true TeamDad - My dd had troubles with her stride circle in level 4. She was the last one to get it and was so frustrated, but finally got it and bars ended up being one of her best events:)! Now we are doing it all over again with the kip:eek:! I tell her that she will get it, and to remember how tough it was for her to get her stride circle, and she just gives me a puzzled look:rolleyes:!
 

mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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I don't have personal experience with this situation, but I will give my 2 cents. :D

I think that with time, confidence will come. Like the previous posters said, some girls just take a little longer to get skills, but when they do, they got it and often, they do it very nicely from what I have seen. Some girls, like my DD, seem to get them quickly, but don't do them pretty or perfectly yet. There is no right way.

It is probably frustrating to see your DD struggle to get a skill, but I also hated to look out and see my DD doing froggy back handsprings. LOL. She doesn't care what her skills look like, she is just happy to do them. I think your DD may be a little more of the perfectionist type that like things to be done the right way, or not at all. That isn't a bad thing. :D Probably a little more safe as well. I cringe when I see my DD try standing back tucks on the floor by herself.

As for what you can do, I would just keep doing what you probably already do. Praise her for all her accomplishments, show her you are proud of her no matter what and hug her her when she is sad about something. When my DD is sad about not being able to get a certain skill yet, I remind her that most kids her age can't do most of the things she does. It helps her to see that even she can do a lot of things and to be proud of what she has learned so far.

As for the pullovers, I would either take her coaches advice and go in early occasionally or even get a pull up bar. They are inexpensive and safe for things such as pullovers. You could take it down when she is done or leave it up for her to play on doing conditioning if she likes it. $13 at Target/Walmart. :D This is controversial though here, since it is home equipment. LOL. My DD loved hers. She knew what was allowed on it, only conditioning things, swinging and pullovers. It is down now because it was driving me crazy where it was, but she loved it.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Guest
Remember that she is still fairly new in gymnastics. I would give her time and let her figure it out on her own. Unfortunately confidence isn't something gained in a day and no matter how much you want her to have it, you can't give it to her. It sounds like she has a really supportive coach which will definitely help her gain confidence. Hang in there and just keep supporting her and giving her the opportunity to work on the skills she needs to work on.
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
My dd is a little bit like that as well. What helped her gain confidence was to just let her loose (like at an open gym) and let her experiment on her own. Let her work at her own pace that is in a light-hearted atmosphere. If she attempts new skills on her own then great, but if all she does is what she feels comfortable doing, then that is great too. Kids learn at different paces and some take longer to feel that confidence in doing something on their own.

Your dd is new to gymnastics so she is just getting used to everything for now. Her confidence will come in time. Also, it is important to celebrate the accomplishments no matter how small they may be. Positive praise and encouragement is what builds self esteem and confidence. Also having fun with it helps a lot too.

Good luck!!
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
My daughter is similar it sometimes takes her longer to get skills. She will keep doing the skills she is confortable with and can do well and avoid the skills that she is having trouble when she is practicing outside the gym. She also gets mad if I ask her about how a skill is coming that she is struggling with. So I have learned to not bring it up unless she does. Like many parents have said there are always going to be kids who pick up things faster but those kids do not always have the motitvation to stick with the sport. As long as she is having fun and wants to go. Has she started competing yet? I know my daughters 1st year competing was really tough but this year is her 2nd year as a level 4 and there is a big difference she is so confident and happy. Just give it time.
 

dadingym

Member
Oct 10, 2008
111
I think your DD may be a little more of the perfectionist type that like things to be done the right way, or not at all. That isn't a bad thing. :D Probably a little more safe as well.


i agree with mariposamama, our dd requires some additional spotting from coaches and will only throw a skill that she knows has good form. hang in there.:) confidence comes with time, and little head games, visualize, kind of like that old movie saying "you can do it duffy moon" show my age...lol
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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It is often harder to get a skill with "good" form that it is just to get it. If your DD takes a little longer to get a skill, but when she does it is lovely, then this is not a bad thing. Many gymnasts get skills quickly and can "chuck" all kinds of things, but with poor form and many built in deductions.

Most gymnasts end up at roughly the same place in the end, the difference is how they get there.

As long as she is trying and is enjoying gym I would let it be.
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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I agree with what has been said by others. She needs time to grow in the gym and also mature(she's only 8). As both come together I think you'll start to see her take some initiative to work on a few new skills without the coach always being there. Sometimes just seeing friends getting new skills is a motivator.

You and the coach may want to work together on a plan that once the coach feels she really doesn't need a spot, the coach gives verbal encouragement and gradually moves away letting dd try whatever skill on her own.
 

FlipsLeos

Member
Jul 26, 2008
111
Ah, it's so nice to get feedback from other parents!! As I think you all know, gymnastics might even be harder on the parents than the gymnast! LOL

Mariposa, I think you nailed it there with the perfectionism. Duh, I don't know why that didn't cross my mind, but she's ALWAYS been that way. Didn't walk without a finger in her hand until she was certain she could do it without falling over type thing.

She will occasionally say something about wanting to get a skill after practice, and how it's "not fair" that so and so can do it and she's still working on it. I want to point out that many of these other girls have been in gym since they were 18 months old and not to worry about it, but I also don't want to talk down about any of them as well.

All in due time, I suppose. Really, I'm amazed at how much she HAS accomplished in such a short time!! She has her third meet coming up in 2 weeks and I am excited to see improvements there as well. The differences at the second meet with her confidence alone was incredible, and I am looking forward to seeing what the next few bring.

Again, thanks for all the replies!!
 
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